Review | Korn | The Paradigm Shift
I had just got on the bus to head to my second varsity soccer game and someone told looked over at me and said "Victorick you gotta check out this!". He'd handed me the newly released "Issues" from Korn. At that point I was a NIN & Deftones type guy. I wasn't sure if I was ready to hop into this whole radio friendly numetal movement. I would have to be honest and say I was completely surprised and ready to go by time we showed up to the field we would be playing at that night. I was pretty much hooked at that point! Issues, Follow The Leader, and anything below those titles were just amazing to me. They didn't have to worry about having that normal shred talent because this band fed off of each other. Korn went back and forth with each other's instruments. There was funk and push and pull and it was amazing. Then it wasn't…
Somewhere in the middle of The Untouchables Korn became the opposite of untouchable. It was generic and bland and not inspiring like some of the earlier work. David Silveria(drummer) left and then Brian (Head) Welch(guitarist) left and it just seemed to get worse. "Path of Totality" came out and I just… I like me some dub step and all but Korn had just not taken the right step forward. All hope was lost!
Fast forward past the moment when they announce that estranged guitarist Brian Welch is back and people are looking forward to the new record coming out. We, the fans, are all looking forward to that push and pull between the guitars and bass. We're looking forward to the crazy sounds that this guitar duo could pull off. Korn is here saying it's old school! Far be it that that is the case. Yes it's heavier. Yes it's better than the last 2 records. It's still not what you want from Korn. It sounds more like a record that the band Orgy would have put out 11 years ago.
Let's dig into this a bit more. Thank god that they were able to rid most of Jonathan Davis' electronica ways. It's still prominent is songs like Never, Never and Paranoid & Arroused. It's just not everywhere like on Path of Totality. Lullaby for a Satist is something that I can give credit to them for trying to be different even though it was poorly executed. It seems that that song in particular was more like an artist with a great idea that has yet to figure out how to put it on paper. Jonathan Davis' lyrics are still something to be desired for most of anybody over the age of 16. I'll do a little freak out here and there when I listen to Chi but yea as a vocalist I don't feel like he has advanced what-so-ever. Just take a listen to the song Victimized and you would see what I'm talking about.
Since I've ran on about the bad I feel that I should at least highlight a few of the songs that seem like they will start to push the band in a decent direction. The opener Prey For Me beats pretty hard and seems that it comes from somewhere deep inside from where the Korn that we all miss lie. The verse shows both of the guitar players playing with sounds and experimenting like they used to. Albeit one guitarist felt the need to wub wub wub out like a Dubstep guitarist. I'll give the credit for using their guitars for the sounds and noises that they once were known for. Mass Hysteria sees them bringing back sounds that seem to stem from songs from the Issues period. You get that big build ala the Life is Peachy days. Just a few moments that are worth actually listening too.
With the good and bad weighed against each other it seems to be an even match. The fact of all this is even though I know that this is tired and played I will still find myself bobbing my head to this album every once in a while because there are really heavy moments in it that just find you wanting to get off the floor. Take it or leave it, it seems that Korn might just be back in a better direction However slowly they may take it.